Economic and healthcare resource utilization assessments of PET imaging in Coronary Artery Disease diagnosis: a systematic review and discussion of opportunities for future economic evaluations

J Med Econ. 2024 Jan-Dec;27(1):715-729. doi: 10.1080/13696998.2024.2345507. Epub 2024 May 6.


Aims: This systematic literature review (SLR) consolidated economic and healthcare resource utilization (HCRU) evidence for positron emission tomography (PET) and single-photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) myocardial perfusion imaging (MPI) to inform future economic evaluations.

Materials and methods: An electronic search was conducted in MEDLINE, Embase, and Cochrane databases from 2012-2022. Economic and HCRU studies in adults who underwent PET- or SPECT-MPI for coronary artery disease (CAD) diagnosis were eligible. A qualitative methodological assessment of existing economic evaluations, HCRU, and downstream cardiac outcomes was completed. Exploratory meta-analyses of clinical outcomes were performed.

Results: The search yielded 13,439 results, with 71 records included. Economic evaluations and comparative clinical trials were limited in number and outcome types (HCRU, downstream cardiac outcomes, and diagnostic performance) assessed. No studies included all outcome types and only one economic evaluation linked diagnostic performance to HCRU. The meta-analyses of comparative studies demonstrated significantly higher rates of early- and late-invasive coronary angiography and revascularization for PET- compared to SPECT-MPI; however, the rate of repeat testing was lower with PET-MPI. The rate of acute myocardial infarction was lower, albeit non-significant with PET- vs. SPECT-MPI.

Limitations and conclusions: This SLR identified economic and HCRU evaluations following PET- and SPECT-MPI for CAD diagnosis and determined that existing studies do not capture all pertinent outcome parameters or link diagnostic performance to downstream HCRU and cardiac outcomes, thus, resulting in simplified assessments of CAD burden. A limitation of this work relates to heterogeneity in study designs, patient populations, and follow-up times of existing studies. Resultingly, it was challenging to pool data in meta-analyses. Overall, this work provides a foundation for the development of comprehensive economic models for PET- and SPECT-MPI in CAD diagnosis, which should link diagnostic outcomes to HCRU and downstream cardiac events to capture the full CAD scope.

Keywords: Coronary artery disease; I; I00; I1; I19; economic evaluations; healthcare resource utilization; meta-analysis; myocardial perfusion imaging; positron emission tomography; single photon emission computed tomography; systematic literature review.

Publication types

  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Coronary Artery Disease* / diagnostic imaging
  • Coronary Artery Disease* / economics
  • Cost-Benefit Analysis
  • Humans
  • Myocardial Perfusion Imaging / economics
  • Patient Acceptance of Health Care / statistics & numerical data
  • Positron-Emission Tomography* / economics
  • Tomography, Emission-Computed, Single-Photon* / economics